By many metrics 2020 was an awful year. But don’t forget: Americans reclaimed democracy, ousted a would-be dictator, stood up en masse against bigotry, and learned we could quickly and willingly adapt our lifestyle to a national security crisis. These aren’t small achievements.

The awfulness of 2020 has become one of the year’s most unforgettable cultural memes. But in the current cascade of 2020-bashing let’s not forget what went right this year — and what didn’t go wrong.

It yields perspective to recall that the year began with what appeared to be a national security crisis with Iran. The killing…


Emergency doctors on Twitter have crowd-sourced and are now testing a groundbreaking new hypothesis that could change the way we treat the virus — it may cause altitude sickness, not pneumonia. But can they keep conspiracy theorists from giving it a life of its own?

Wide awake at 3:13 a.m., I saw the post come in on Facebook, from my sister in my timezone. “Are we treating the actual disease patients are dying from ?? Are we asking the right questions ??” Following the links, I discovered a new series of web artifacts by New York critical care physician Cameron…

Charli Carpenter

Charli is a political scientist who writes for Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The American Prospect and many more. charlicarpenter.com / @charlicarpenter

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